Sunday, November 13, 2005

A True American Hero

As this Veteran’s Day weekend draws to a close I wanted to post this column about Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta. Although his story has been by and large ignored by the MSM many of those that frequent the blogs have read the story of this brave American hero. I am going to tell this story again not only as a tribute to all veterans of all wars but also because his story is significant to events that are taking place in the world today. We are also rapidly approaching the first anniversary of Sgt. Peralta’s death during the Battle of Fallujah.

On November 15, 2004 Sgt. Peralta was with the men of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines. That day just like every day for the previous week these men were going house to house battling terrorists in order to secure the city of Fallujah. Sgt. Peralta and his squad entered their fourth house that morning to begin clearing it when they found a locked door. Sgt. Peralta opened the closed door and was immediately engaged by three terrorists armed with AK-47 submachine guns. Sgt. Peralta received several gunshot wounds at extremely close range and went down.

Members of his squad stepped over the wounded Sergeant and began engaging the enemy. During the firefight a homemade grenade was thrown into the room of Marines. The grenade landed close to Sgt. Peralta, unhesitant he grabbed the grenade and clutched it to his abdomen absorbing most of the blast and in making the ultimate sacrifice saved the lives of the Marines in his squad.

Sgt. Rafael Peralta did not have to enter that house. He was a platoon scout not assigned to that assault team. He volunteered to go. Sgt. Peralta was a 25 year old Mexican immigrant that received his citizenship while in the Marine Corps. It is reported that there were only three items hanging on Sgt. Peralta’s bedroom walls in his parent’s home. A copy of the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and his boot camp graduation certificate.

This story goes far beyond that of his heroics on that fateful day in Fallujah. Sgt. Peralta may have been native to Mexico but he lived in America, he worked for and received his citizenship, and he was proud to be an American.

While we fight the much needed battle of illegal immigration in this country we would be wise to continue to facilitate the legal immigration of those that wish to make a better life for themselves and a better country for us all. With the exception of Native Americans we are all immigrants. It matters not whether we are first generation, second generation or if our ancestors came over on the Mayflower. We are all Americans now.

From these groups of immigrants America has developed a distinct culture. There are many in this country now that are at war with this culture. In the name of political correctness and multiculturalism they wish for us to suppress our culture so as not to offend any foreign people or recent immigrants. Certainly there is still racism, discrimination, and insensitivity in this country by some against immigrants just as to some degree there always has been. However, generation after generation of immigrants have been accepted into our culture. Each generation before accepting the generation after, not asking those that come to forget their culture but only asking that they accept and assimilate to our culture as Americans.

No doubt Sgt. Peralta and his family came to this country for a better way of life. Obviously, Sgt. Peralta saw America as a great nation and not only wanted to be a member of but also wanted to serve that nation. There are countless stories like that of Sgt. Peralta’s throughout the history of this country. Sgt. Peralta is an American hero in the truest sense of the term. Thank you for your service, your sacrifice, and your example.

Check out Articles of Interest at Basil's Blog

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